The accommodation at Naledi Game Lodge certainly exceeded the expectations of both my wife and me. Given that first impression, the Lodge has become one of our Top 5 Lodges. That being said, accommodation, as with any bush holiday, is only one part of the whole experience.
For me, it is the game sightings that are the most exciting and they don’t always have to be the Big 5. These two Spotted Hyena trundling through the bush, reminded me of 2 of the 3 hyenas in The Lion King… Shenzi, Banzai and Ed (who was the crazy one)
It was Napoleon Bonaparte that was purported to have said: “An army marches on its stomach”. Guests at Naledi Game Lodge might think they were marching to a similar drum. Although they don’t have to march, neither do they have to do battle for their food. As we were to discover during our sojourn at the Lodge. Breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner are all on the menu…so to speak. All the food in this posting was prepared by Chef Sam whose team was on rotation during our stay. The quality of all the meals we were served was superb. The manner in which the plated food was presented, together with each dining experience made mealtimes an adventure. Case in point, this stack of breakfast pancakes that we enjoyed when returning from a morning drive.
A view of the public pool from the main lounge. During the day it looks inviting, but on our first night, we were surprised to find that it had been transformed. The transformation was our first experience of what was to come during our time at Naledi Game Lodge, especially when it came to dinners and the manner in which they were presented.
This is how the pool area was transformed, as if by magic into a wonderful and welcoming dining experience.
A golden theme was to set the standard for the rest of our stay.
A well presented main course…and I ate ALL my vegetables!
My FAVOURITE dessert. This pannacotta was presented like a Jackson Pollock 3D painting!
This seating area near the swimming pool at our suite, was where we enjoyed one of the dinners during our stay. By day, we used this as a vantage point while we watched a variety of animals using the dry river bed as a highway past the camp.
It was transformed for dinner into a secluded, intimate dining space complete with a beautifully decorated table. For this particular meal, the ‘theme’ was black and white. (As an aside, each dinner had a different colour theme for the table decorations)
Every plate of food was beautifully prepared and presented. Food is not only about taste, it is also the visual aspect is equally (if not more) important. All of the food that we enjoyed would be not be out of place in a major urban restaurant anywhere in the world.
This is the lounge area of our suite during the day. Although comfortable to relax in, it certainly does not shout out ‘intimate dining area’. But that is exactly what it became for our final evening meal at the Lodge.
The colour choice on this occasion? Red and gold!
Yet again, the presentation, as well as each course, was superb. And, much to the surprise of my wife, I ate whatever was placed in front of me without comment, especially where vegetables were involved. Like all lodges, Naledi had asked about dietary requirements prior to our arrival. But unlike many lodges, they made certain that our requirements were complied with.
It was in this outdoor space near the main lounge that we enjoyed a couple of our midday meals. With a view out towards the Drakensberg mountains in the distance, this was a cool and shady spot to indulge in a lunch that included mains and dessert!
Full marks to Chef Sam for yet another delicious, well-portioned meal. And potato wedges that begged for a second helping.
We discovered a set of these mugs at the coffee and tea station in the lounge. We liked them so much that with a bit of detective work we found them online and ordered a couple to be delivered on our return. In fact, the order was processed so quickly that the courier company tried to deliver BEFORE we got home.
Breakfast…or part thereof. A platter of fresh fruit to start with. It looked so enticing that it made me wonder why I don’t do this regularly at home…until I realized that it is just TOO much work. I would probably end up grabbing one fruit from the fridge and eating that while I had a cup of tea.
But what is a breakfast in the bush without enjoying a ‘full English’? Go large or go home? In fact, it was EXACTLY that. This was our final breakfast before we left to return home.
And who says that you cannot save freshly baked breakfast scones for a mid-morning snack? That is precisely what both my wife and I did…too many for breakfast, but we certainly did not want them to go to ‘waste’…
To find out what the camp is currently offering, visit their website, or click on the logo above.
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